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Posts for tag: exercise

By Dr. Jeffrey Frederick
June 09, 2014
Category: Footwear
Tags: Footwear   exercise  

Proper Shoes Protect your Feet while you’re Biking.Cycling is a great exercise for all ages. Naturally, biking comes with some basic safety gear—helmets. This simple protective piece has been responsible for saving countless lives by protecting the head during accidents. That’s why the Lids for Kids event, taking place June 14 in Berkley, MI, is so valuable for young bikers. It provides them with a free helmet and basic safety information. Of course, your head isn’t the only part of you that needs protection when biking. Cycling and your feet are linked, too.

Cycling is a wonderful activity for your lower limbs. It doesn’t have the hard impacts that running does, but still works your feet and ankles. You have to push through your arch and the ball of the foot to move the pedals forward. However, like any other sport, it does have some risk for foot injuries. Since usually only the ball of the foot is on the pedal, the pressure you exert isn’t evenly dispersed through your lower limbs. This can allow you to develop tendonitis, metatarsalgia, shin splints, and pinched nerves.

Wearing the proper shoes can make a significant difference in your foot comfort. Most people forget about their shoes, even though they are an important part of normal biking equipment. You need a pair with stiff soles that won’t collapse through the arch when you pedal. This controls the stress on the foot when you push down. Make sure your footwear has sufficient padding through the forefoot, too, to minimize the pressure there.

Don’t underestimate the connection between cycling and your feet. You want your lower limbs to stay comfortable when you ride. If you notice foot pain when you bike, don’t ignore it. Contact NorthPointe Foot & Ankle, where we can take care of your lower limbs. Call (248) 545-0100 or use our online contact form to reach us.

Photo Credit: arztsamui via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Dr. Jeffrey Frederick
May 02, 2014
Category: Diabetes

Riding a Bike is a Great way for Diabetics to Exercise.Many people spend their days sitting down in an office. While working hard is important, all those hours of sitting is bad for your health—especially if you have poor circulation from diabetes. Sitting for hours on end actually damages your circulation. When you have diabetes, good circulation is vital for your foot care! May is Employee Health and Fitness Month. This is a great excuse for you to find ways to move around and keep your body healthy.

Poor circulation from diabetes is actually fairly common. Fluctuating blood sugar levels damage your blood vessels, causing problems like peripheral vascular disease. This narrowing and stiffening of your arteries means the amount of blood that flows down into your lower limbs is significantly restricted. Over time, the decreased oxygen and nutrients takes a toll on your feet and legs.

You become more susceptible to aches and injuries, while also losing your ability to heal efficiently. You may get cramps when you’re active and be prone to slow-healing ulcers. Fortunately, standing up and exercising can significantly improve your circulation.

Exercising increases your heart rate, which in turn increases your blood flow. This pushes more blood through your arteries to your lower limbs. Something as simple as walking around the office during the day could help counteract the effect of hours of sitting. Our expert team can also help you determine a routine for outside the office that will be safe for your feet while still benefitting them.

If diabetes has affected your circulation, you can take steps to manage your discomfort and improve your blood flow. That way you’re far less likely to develop severe complications that could result in serious infections or injuries. Contact NorthPointe Foot & Ankle here in Berkley, MI, for more information or an appointment to take care of your diabetic feet. Call (248) 545-0100 or use our online contact form to reach us.

Photo Credit: lusi via rgbstock.com

By Dr. Jeffrey Frederick
March 21, 2013
Category: Footwear
Tags: exercise   balance   Injury   high heels   workout classes  


The latest workout craze may seem like a better way to get an injury rather than to lose a few pounds, but workout centers across the country have started to advertise high-heel themed workout classes.  In the classes participants are encouraged to wear high heels to the class, which consists of exercises tailored to improve balance and stability while walking in heels.  Can this be a good idea?

One class, called “Heel Hop”, seeks to target muscles that support the body and allow for fluid movements when wearing high heels and even includes high-kicking in different directions.  The workouts supposedly focus on core abdominal strength by encouraging proper posture. The Crunch Fitness chain of gyms offers “Stiletto Strength”, which dedicates a special portion of the class to an aerobic runway style parade as each participant strolls across the room individually. 

Some may wonder, after spending so much money on cute high heels, then why not wear them with confidence?  The truth is, if you require a specialized workout class to maintain adequate balance to walk in heels, then heels may not be for you.  Also, many foot and ankle ailments can be exacerbated by heels, which place unnatural stress on the metatarsal heads and other soft tissues of the forefoot. 

Of course, many experts—and common sense—warn that wearing high heels for extended periods can increase the risk of injury. Recently a study at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, and the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, found that high-heel wearers experienced "alterations in muscle-tendon architecture," which led to fatigue and strain.  When heels are worn, the calf muscles in the leg tighten and can become contracted over time, leading to an equinus deformity.  The biggest concern, however, is low back and hip pain due to increased load and stress to these areas.  Do your whole body a favor – ditch the heels and slip on some comfy athletic shoes instead.

Thank you for visiting our website!  Please continue to learn more about your foot care needs by reading other informative articles and by visiting our helpful links.  NorthPointe Foot & Ankle is located in Berkley, MI and has been serving people around the Southfield, Berkley, Ferndale, and Royal Oak area for over 30 years.  Request an appointment via our website or call our office at (248) 545-0100.

By Dr. Jeffrey Frederick
June 01, 2012
Category: Athletic Shoes
Tags: foot doctor   athletic shoes   exercise  

Rocker bottom shoes began as a shoe modification that was prescribed to patients suffering from such maladies as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, Morton's neuroma, and tendonitis. The principle behind the stiff rocker bottom is that force is distributed evenly throughout the foot with ambulation, thus decreasing stress concentration on the injured area.

In addition, such a sole decreases range of motion requirements on the ankle, hindfoot, and forefoot, decreasing pain if these joints are arthritic.  The shape of the sole allows for propulsion while walking and can challenge certain muscle groups more than they are normally.  That’s why these shoes have been marketed as a way to strengthen muscles, which could lead to weight loss.  They are also advertised to cause a change in posture to take pressure off of achy, overused joints. 

A study released by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) showed that toning shoes including Skechers Shape-Ups, MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology), and Reebok EasyTone don't help people exercise more intensely, burn more calories, or improve your muscle strength and tone.  ACE chief science officer Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, said in a written release, “Toning shoes appear to promise a quick-and-easy fitness solution, which we realize people are always looking for.  Unfortunately, these shoes do not deliver the fitness or muscle-toning benefits they claim."

The study was performed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and included 12 active women aged 19-24 who completed a dozen five-minute intervals on a treadmill while wearing Skechers Shape-Ups, Masai Barefoot Technology, Reebok’s EasyTone Reeinspire shoes, or traditional New Balance running shoes as researchers monitored how hard they worked.  A second group of 12 women aged 21-27 performed a similar battery of five-minute treadmill tests in the various shoes while researchers measured muscle usage in their calves, quads, hamstrings, buttocks, back, and abs.  The results showed that there was no significant difference in calories burned or muscle usage between the four types of shoes, the researchers reported.

The shoes are advertised to firm the body because the shoe’s unstable sole design causes wearers to use slightly different muscles to maintain balance, resulting in temporary soreness that will subside as the body adjusts to the shoe.  However, these claims have been reputed by recent lawsuits, which accused companies of false advertising and now prohibit companies from making unsubstantiated health claims about the benefits of its shoes.

More important than a specific shoe style or new fad is maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. If these shoes serve as a motivator for individuals to be more active, it is a good thing, even if they don’t produce the dramatic toning and calorie-burning results people think they are getting.

Foot or ankle related problems or questions?  Contact NorthPointe Foot & Ankle for more information or to make an appointment.